WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., Sept. 18 (UPI) -- A Florida lawyer admitted Thursday to participating in a scam that cheated investors out of millions of dollars.
Won Sok Lee pleaded guilty to federal mail and wire fraud charges, the Palm Beach Post reported. He faces up to 25 years in prison when he is sentenced in December.
Lee and two others created KL Group, an investment firm. But investigators said the company was an elaborate sham housed in an expensive office with an ocean view in Atlantic Beach, Fla.
Lee, John Kim and Yung Bae Kim even paid stock traders to stay on the phone looking busy -- and making money-losing trades -- to give the firm the look of success, prosecutors said.
The firm received $194 million from investors between 2000 and 2005 and lost at least $63 million, while putting out statements that claimed it was making lots of money, the Post said.
The Kims pleaded guilty in 2007. Lee fled the country and was arrested earlier this year in South Korea.